Every week is must-see TV in the NFL, but some games just feel bigger than others.
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Here we look at those intriguing matchups on the Giants’ 2017 schedule:
2016 Record: 13-3 (1st in NFC East)
All-time series: 45-62-2 (1-0 postseason)
Last meeting: Dec. 11, 2016 (Giants won, 10-7)
Dallas, the reigning NFC East champions and the top seed in the conference, lost only three games in 2016, two of which were to the Giants. Big Blue won by one point in the opener at AT&T Stadium and swept the season series in Week 14 at MetLife Stadium, halting an 11-game winning streak by Dallas. The NFC East has not produced a repeat champion since Philadelphia won four in a row from 2001-04. Last season, the Giants made their first playoff appearance since 2011, the same year they last won the division.
2016 Record: 8-7-1 (3rd in NFC East)
All-time series: 98-66-4 (1-1 postseason)
Last meeting: Jan. 1, 2017 (Giants won 19-10)
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The Redskins handed the Giants their only home loss of the season last year, but Big Blue repaid them by going into FedEx Field in Week 17 and ending Washington’s postseason dreams. Including that game, the Redskins lost four of their final six games a year after it closed with four consecutive wins to claim the 2015 division crown.
2016 Record: 7-9 (4th in NFC East)
All-time series: 83-79-2 (2-2 postseason)
Last meeting: Dec. 22, 2016 (Giants lost 24-19)
Under first-year coach Doug Pederson and rookie quarterback Carson Wentz, the No. 2 overall draft pick, the Eagles were two different teams last season, going 6-2 at home and 1-7 on the road. And that’s the way the Giants’ season series went, defeating Philadelphia in Week 9 at MetLife Stadium and losing on a Thursday night game in Week 16 at Lincoln Financial Field.
2016 Record: 12-4 (2nd in AFC West)
All-time series: 5-7
Last meeting: Nov. 10, 2013 (Raiders won 24-20)
The Giants have no shortage of long plane rides in 2017, playing at Oakland, Arizona, Denver and San Francisco. The Raiders’ emergence was one of the biggest storylines in the league in 2016 as third-year quarterback Derek Carr, the younger brother of David (former backup to Eli Manning with the Giants), led the team to 12 wins. However, the franchise’s best season in 14 years took a dramatic turn when Carr went down with a broken leg in Week 16. Things got worse in the regular season finale when they simultaneously lost to the Broncos, lost their AFC West title hopes and lost Carr’s replacement, Matt McGloin, to a shoulder injury. As the fifth seed in the playoffs, Oakland went on to lose on the road, 27-14, to the Houston Texans in the Wild Card round.
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Carr, who insisted he could have returned in time for Super Bowl LI had Oakland gotten that far without him, will be back in 2017 with an ascending Raiders team. Khalil Mack is one of the best defenders in the NFL, having notched another All-Pro season in 2016 after becoming the first player in NFL history to pick up first-team honors at two positions the year before. The Giants (four) and Raiders (three) are one of nine organizations with at least three Super Bowl titles.
2016 Record: 10-5-1 (1st in NFC West)
All-time series: 9-8
Last meeting: Nov. 9, 2014 (Seahawks won 38-17)
The Seahawks’ four-year reign as the No. 1 scoring defense came to an end in 2016 as they finished third (18.3 points per game) behind the Giants (17.8) and Patriots (15.6). Since Pete Carroll took over in 2010, Seattle is 43-13 at CenturyLink Field, but only 27-28-1 on the road. This time, Big Blue hosts the Seahawks at MetLife Stadium and will try to break a three-game losing streak against the last NFC team to win the Super Bowl. This game will showcase two of the best secondaries a season after the Giants allowed a league-low 25 offensive touchdowns. The Legion of Boom has earned many accolades, and the Giants are trying to get to its level.